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Just beet it

(post, Trisha Coffman)

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I stick my knife in -- just my paring knife, nothing more menacing -- and slowly back it out, watching hot, purple ooze seep from the stabbing site. I know beets can stain, yet here I am in a favorite t-shirt and khakis, my apron hanging 20 steps away on its hook. 

It's with similar daring that I'm even making these beets. They're for tonight's dinner. Not one of us, including me, is especially taken with beets. 

I've tried, really I have. I want to like them, in particular for their color. I've nibbled them in salads at favorite restaurants. I've sipped borscht delicately from a spoon. But even when they're on top of baby greens, in close proximity of marcona almonds, I can't find much to love about beets' sweet earthy flavor. This is one food of which I can't seem to rid myself of a childhood bias. 

But when beets appear -- greens and all -- in the weekly produce co-op basket, it's beets that get another chance. 

I've wrapped them one by one in foil and roasted them until I can smoothly insert and remove the knife. Later will come a smother of goat cheese (enter the incentive: "Try it! It has goat cheese on top!")and browning by broiler. 

And then we'll see what the consensus is: to eat or not to eat the beet. I'm just hoping my dinnertime rep won't be forever stained.